From: Pieter Arend Folkens (animalbytes@earthlink.net)
Date: Wed May 31 2000 - 10:52:52 EDT

>I would like to know the average temperature of the marine biome.

This is a difficult question if any sort of precision is sought. The range
runs from just under 0C under the ice packs to a few degrees shy of 100C
at thermal vents. That implies a mean of 50C. The problem is that the
thermal extreme throws the numbers askew on the high side. Drop the thermal
vents and the tropical highs are more like 30C suggesting an average
around 15C.

[Fahreheit = (Cx9/5)+32]

It should be noted that a biome is defined as a major regional or global
biotic community characterized chiefly by the dominant forms of life and
the prevailing climate. The ocean, being such a large place, contains
several climates and biomes, both vertical (surface to benthos) and
superficial (tropics to the poles).

Life is most prevalent between about 5 and 20C.

The world-wide average is also fluctuating within a rising trend (global
warming). The average has risen during the past 12,000 to 15,000 years to
cause the average sea level to rise nearly 150 meters from ice released
from melting ice caps and glaciers. Since the advent of human civilization
(about 7,000 years ago), the average sea level has been about 1.75 meters
higher than it is now. The sea level has been relatively stable during that
time within a range of about +3.75 and -2.75 pegged to the present sea

The most recent period of a warming trend began in the 14th Century. A
public relations problem is that the US weather service did not start
keeping temperature records until about 1817, so it is easy to make the
statement: It is the warmest since the US Weather Service has been keeping
records. Al Gore seems like a nice enough guy (after all, he brought us the
internet), but his tirade about global warming is steeped a little to much
in bad science.


Pieter Folkens
Alaska Whale Foundation

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